T20 series preview: England v New Zealand

England

The two-match T20 series, both games being played at the Oval, comes just two days after England lost the Champions Trophy final to India in dramatic fashion, and they will need a quick mind set recovery.

The two-match T20 series, both games being played at the Oval, comes just two days after England lost the Champions Trophy final to India in dramatic fashion, and they will need a quick mind set recovery.

There are only four players in this squad that played in the finale though, namely Morgan, Bopara, Buttler and Tredwell, so the side as a whole should easily be able to shift into the quicker, flashier T20 frame of mind.

The return of Kevin Pietersen after a long lay-off due to a knee injury will be a boost in morale, with his experience and recent century for Surrey a vital addition, even though it will only come into effect in the second game. Betting sites like <a href='http://www.paddypower.com ' class='instorylink'><b>Paddy Power</b></a> will also enjoy a boost in traffic with his return.

England will also be pleased with the relative return to form of Ravi Bopara, who had a decent Champions Trophy and did well in the final, aside from his amusing dismissal objection (he was caught off a high bouncer, but protested, confusing a wide with a no ball).

The Black Caps, on the other hand, have had time to recover from their tournament exit, and should be more settled than England. They have the experience of Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill to call on, and the flash of Hamish Rutherford and Mitchell McClenaghan.

They are, of course, without veteran spinner Daniel Vettori, who underwent surgery on his Achilles tendon in London this week, and flew home with Tim Southee, Grant Elliott and Kane Williamson. Roni Hira takes up the spinning role for the series.

<b>Key Men</b><br>For England, it would be easy to say Kevin Pietersen is the key player, and if he were playing both games then he would be. But we're going to go for <b>Ravi Bopara</b>, whose all round efforts in the final showed his worth.

The Kiwis will be relying on <b>Mitchell McClenaghan</b> with the ball, after his superb efforts during the ICC event. He finished the group stages as the top wicket-taker, bagging 11 scalps in three games, including two four-fers on tracks made for spinners, and fans who <a href='http://www.paddypower.com/bet/cricket' class='instorylink'><b>bet on cricket</b></a> will fancy their odds.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2013: Third T20: England won by 10 wickets in Wellington<br>2013: Second T20: New Zealand won by 55 runs in Hamilton<br>2013: First T20: England won by 40 runs in Auckland<br>2012 World Twenty20: England won by six wickets in Pallekele<br>2010 World Twenty20: England won by three wickets in St Lucia

<b>Squads</b><br><i>England:</i> Eoin Morgan, Gary Ballance, Ravi Bopara, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Kevin Pietersen, Boyd Rankin, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes, Luke Wright

<i>New Zealand:</i> Brendon McCullum, Corey Anderson, Doug Bracewell, Ian Butler, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Roni Hira, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Ross Taylor

<b>Fixtures</b><br>First T20: 25 June, The Oval, <br>Second T20: 27 June, The Oval

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